Ever since Brian K. Vaughn and Adrian Alphona's Runaways debuted in 2003, the team has been a hit. The premise is simple yet provocative: a group of teenagers learn that their parents are supervillains and part of a secret cabal dubbed The Pride. Taking teen rebellion to another level, the kids go on the run, attempting to use their special skills and powers for good. A number of series and iterations of the team have appeared over the years, and rumors have long persisted that Marvel would be bringing the team into the world of live action.
Talk of a movie adaptation or Netflix series ended last year when it was revealed that Marvel had teamed with Hulu to produce a series based on the team. Since then, we’ve learned the show would focus on the original cast of characters and discovered who would be playing each of the six teens. Just yesterday, it was revealed who would be playing ten out of the twelve members of The Pride, and we learned a bit more about the MCU version of the characters. Now that The Pride has arrived, here’s a primer on their comic book history.
What Is The Pride?
The Runaways and The Pride have always been intrinsically linked, however, the latter have always been in the shadow of the former. While both groups debuted in the same issue, The Runaways generally get the spotlight in the comics. Given the pedigree of the actors cast to portray the adults in Marvel and Hulu’s adaptation of the comic, though, there’s a good chance we could see more of a focus on the efforts of the antagonists. The premise for the series already filters typical coming-of-age stories and journeys to establish an identity separate from one's forebears through the lens of superheroes and villains, so emphasizing this by mixing a teen drama with an adult crime thriller is a smart move.
Despite being relatively new to the world of comics, The Pride are considered one of the leading crime families in the Marvel Universe. Through their secret machinations, they control the criminal underworld of Los Angeles without seeking the glitz and glamor of many of their New York colleagues. Though much about them is unknown, famed villains such as the Kingpin and Norman Osborn speak highly of The Pride and admire their firm control over Los Angeles.
While the basic conceit of The Pride is relatively straightforward, their origin may prove a bit too fantastical for Marvel and Hulu to completely adapt. It’s revealed in the final issue of Runaways that The Pride first came together and gathered strength as part of a pact with an ancient race of giants called the Gibborim. Once presiding over a utopian Pangea, the Gibborim’s numbers have been whittled down to just three over the years. Similarly, their control has waned, and their hope is that The Pride will be able to help them reassert it. In exchange for increased power, the Gibborim’s plan is to use The Pride to help them wipe out all of humanity and start anew. As a reward, six of the twelve members of The Pride will be granted a stay of execution and be allowed to live in this new, supposedly peaceful world.
The final part of the Gibborim’s deal is that The Pride must sacrifice someone’s soul to them every year so that the giants can maintain their vitality. The annual ritual of sacrifice, however, proves to be The Pride's ultimate undoing. After 25 years of committing the Rite of Thunder, the children of The Pride finally witness their parents’ heinous act and become the titular runaways to avoid their fate.
Who Are The Pride?
As a powerful criminal organization, The Pride has many lackeys, including a number of police that help the villains frame their children for the murder of their latest sacrifice in an effort to flush them out of hiding. To make matters worse, one of the six members of the Runaways is revealed to be a traitor and mole for The Pride in a plot that will surely make it into the television adaptation. Even without these outside agents, The Pride consists of twelve extremely gifted supervillains, each with their own set of skills and abilities that they pass onto their offspring.
Dubbed The Thieves by the Gibborim, Geoffrey and Catherine Wilder are the de facto leaders of The Pride and the parents to Alex. Like their son, who’s shown to be a gifted strategist, the Wilders greatest asset is their intelligence. Much of The Pride’s influence and assets come thanks to the work of Geoffrey and Catherine, whose lifetime of thievery and drug running has garnered them a vast criminal empire.
Leslie and Frank Dean are the parents to Karoline, and are known as The Colonists. Their name comes courtesy of the fact that they are aliens from the planet Majesdane. Possessing light-based powers that grant them flight and energy projection, the Deans pass their abilities down to Karoline. All three of the Deans will present the show with one of its biggest CGI issues, meaning Karoline’s solar powers and flight will likely be used sparingly.
Another problematic CGI element and contender for something likely to be cut from the show is Old Lace, Gertrude Yorkes’ pet velociraptor. It comes thanks to her parents Dale and Stacey, also known as The Travelers. In their case, it’s time traveling that they do and their many years of hopping through history and committing crimes has given them a particular disdain for superheroics.
Though Tina Minoru briefly appeared in a small cameo during Doctor Strange, she’s either been recast or rebooted for The Runaways. Along with her husband Robert, the Minorus are The Magicians. Wielding dark and arcane powers, the Minorus pass their skills onto their daughter Nico. Like her mother, Nico channels her powers through the Staff of One (used by Tina in the Doctor Strange finale), which she obtains when her mother attempts to murder her with it.
The last group of parents to be cast for the upcoming show are the Steins, the parents to Chase. Known as The Wise Men due to their prodigious scientific and technological knowledge, their son Chase actually fell pretty far from the tree. Still, their weapons and equipment prove quite useful to Chase and his friends when they eventually abscond with a number of them. Here’s hoping Chase’s signature Fistigons appear in the series.
Finally, there’s the Hayeses. Alice and Gene are the only members of The Pride who haven’t been cast yet. Furthermore, their daughter Molly’s name has been changed to Hernandez, so their fate is in question. The bigger mystery is how Marvel will handle their telepathic powers and their daughter’s super-strength, as all three are mutants in the comics. Perhaps they’ll all simply be turned into Inhumans, Marvel’s go-to plan since they can’t use the ‘M’ word.
Though the Runaways certainly have gifts, their parents powers and years of experience will make them dangerous opponents. Though no release date has been revealed for the series, we know it will start filming sometime this month along with Cloak & Dagger. Hopefully, both sets of teen heroes will join forces at some point like they often do in the comics. After all, the Runaways are going to need all the help they can get if they want to defeat their parents and take down The Pride.
Runaways is expected to premiere on Hulu sometime in 2018.